, 40:558 | Cite as

Past and Present Permafrost Temperatures in the Abisko Area: Redrilling of Boreholes

  • Margareta Johansson
  • Jonas Åkerman
  • Frida Keuper
  • Torben R. Christensen
  • Hugues Lantuit
  • Terry V. Callaghan


Monitoring of permafrost has been ongoing since 1978 in the Abisko area, northernmost Sweden, when measurements of active layer thickness started. In 1980, boreholes were drilled in three mires in the area to record permafrost temperatures. Recordings were made twice per year, and the last data were obtained in 2002. During the International Polar Year (2007–2008), new boreholes were drilled within the ‘Back to the Future’ (BTF) and ‘Thermal State of Permafrost’ (TSP) projects that enabled year-round temperature monitoring. Mean annual ground temperatures (MAGT) in the mires are close to 0°C, ranging from −0.16 to −0.47°C at 5 m depth. Data from the boreholes show increasing ground temperatures in the upper and lower part by 0.4 to 1°C between 1980 and 2002. At one mire, permafrost thickness has decreased from 15 m in 1980 to ca. 9 m in 2009, with an accelerating thawing trend during the last decade.


Ground temperatures Boreholes Permafrost Abisko Sub-arctic Sweden 



The authors are very grateful to the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) for their contribution to the ‘Back to The Future’ programme in Abisko (grant number 327-2007-833) and to the Nordic Council of Ministers for the grant funding PYRN TSP drilling programme under the Arctic Co-operation programme 2006–2008 (project number 80144). In addition, the authors are grateful to the Swedish Research Council Formas for their contribution to the ADSIMNOR project (DNR 214-2009-389) that has also contributed to this project.


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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margareta Johansson
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jonas Åkerman
    • 1
  • Frida Keuper
    • 3
  • Torben R. Christensen
    • 1
  • Hugues Lantuit
    • 4
  • Terry V. Callaghan
    • 2
    • 5
  1. 1.Division of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Analyses, Department of Earth and Ecosystem SciencesLund UniversityLundSweden
  2. 2.Royal Swedish Academy of SciencesStockholmSweden
  3. 3.Department of Systems EcologyVU University AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.AWI Potsdam, Periglacial SectionPotsdamGermany
  5. 5.Department of Plant and Animal Sciences, Sheffield Centre for Arctic EcologyUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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